XMG P505 FAQ (Also applies to XMG P705)
Which display panels do you offer in the P505?
We offer three options:
- FHD 1020x1080 non-glare AUO B156HAN01.2 IPS panel
- 3K QWHD Panasonic VX16T020G00 IPS panel
- 4K QFHD 3840x2160 Glossy Sharp LQ156D1JX01B IPS (IGZO) panel
There is a cheaper 4K panel which you may see available in similar chassis to the XMG P505. This is a Samsung model which uses an RGBW pixel orientation, resulting in a less accurate colour representation and poorer image quality – hence the lower price.
Is the XMG P505 RAID-capable?
Yes, the storage drives in the XMG P505 can be configured in various RAID configurations, enabled from the Intel RAID controller.
The XMG P505 has a total of four RAID-enabled ports: two standard 2.5 "SATA ports and two new m.2 SSDs. The first m.2 slot can be addressed either via PCI-Express and via SATA. The second m.2 slot is accessible only via SATA. This is because the second m.2 slot also has the possibility to also run a 3G/4G module, which we expect to be able to offer in the near future.
The two 2.5 "SATA ports can be operated with one another in RAID 0 and RAID 1.
The two m.2 ports can also be configured in RAID 0 and RAID 1 run - but only if both disks are accessed via SATA. The configuration of the first m.2 slot PCIe/SATA is determined by the activation of RAID in the P505 system BIOS.
A RAID array between the 2.5 "hard drives and SSD's m.2 is not possible, but even if it were it would not be advisable for stability reasons in mixing different types of drives.
We can recommend the following RAID configurations:
- Connect two 7mm hard drives for RAID 1 in order to achieve increased reliability for your data.
- Connect two m.2 SSD's for RAID 1 in order to achieve increased reliability for your system partition.
In our opinion, a RAID-0 configuration of two m.2 SSD's is not recommended. The reason for this is because we believe it is better to choose a single PCI Express-enabled m.2 SSD (currently only Samsung XP841) instead of an m.2 SATA-based RAID-0 array. The PCI Express interface represents a doubling of bandwidth and make a RAID 0 obsolete. A single PCI Express-enabled SSD is cheaper than two SATA enabled SSD's the same capacity. In addition, increases with RAID 0 mathematically increase the risk of failure by a factor of 2, because a failure in one of the two SSD's causes the loss of all date in that partition.
What materials are used in the XMG P505?
The chassis of the XMG P505 consists mainly of hardened aluminum, which in produced via a method called Progressive Stamping. The surfaces of the metal housing are refined method in the "sandblasted" and thereby get their elegant, satin-black appearance. The result is significantly different to the lower quality "brushed metal" surface which is used by many of our competitors.
The chassis with 980M is slightly thicker (4mm) than the 970M model, due to the more powerful cooling system. As a result of this the underside of the chassis in the 980M version is plastic rather than aluminium. The materials for this section of the chassis have been selected to work best with the cooling systems for the 970M and 980M respectively.
Which fan profiles are offered? How is the cooling system designed?
Currently offers the XMG P505 two fan profiles namely "Automatic" and "Maximum". The latter is primarily intended for enthusiasts who want to achieve the lowest possible temperatures in prolonged rendering sessions. For everyday use (regardless of whether Office or Gaming), the "automatic" control setting will increase and decrease the fans depending on the load and temperatures in your laptop. The XMG P505 designed so that the housing and cooling system has sufficient flexibility to achieve moderate temperatures and fan volumes even with demanding gaming sessions.
The XMG P505 differs very significantly from the products which may be classed as “low profile” from our competitors, which are now designed to be as thin as possible without full consideration for CPU/GPU throttling, maximum temperatures and fan noise optimisation.
The P505 has three cooling fans, one for the CPU and two for the GPU. This means that you can still experience quiet operation when running low load applications, but when gaming the component temperatures stay low with the help of the dual GPU fan arrangement.
How does the option of a 4K-QFHD panel behave in everyday use?
Our high-resolution 4K panel manufactured by Sharp is the best 15.6" 4K panel currently available. The Panel is based on the classic RGB stripe pattern which is significantly superior to the equivalent panel based on "PenTile Matrix" in terms of both quality and colour accuracy. Our 4K IPS panel reaches the full Ultra HD resolution without upscaling; a native 4K panel combined with a high viewing angle and a color gamut of 100% sRGB.
Windows 8.1 is able to seamlessly scale programs, windows desktop environment, fonts and symbols and thus adapt to the high pixel density. The user can choose the scaling level, thus controlling the size of text and user interfaces up. If the user wants to see as much information on the screen, it provides scaling to a value between 100% and 125%. However, if the user would like large fonts then the scaling can be increased up to 200%. The display of content such as photos and videos is completely independent: our 4K panel displays pictures and videos in the absolute highest resolution and thus provides a stunning detailed and sharp insight into the media world of the 21st century.
In video games, you have also the choice: if the game allows it, you can run at the native resolution of 3840 * 2160 pixels in order to achieve unprecedented sharpness - jagged edges and flickering textures are a thing of the past! If you run a more demanding game at FHD (1920 x 1080) then you can still enjoy a crisp and correctly displayed image. Because the 4K native display is exactly double the vertical and horizontal pixel count, hence exactly four times the number of pixels, no interpolation is required - the image remains crisp and sharp.
Is an m.2 SSD via PCI-Express bootable?
Yes, a Samsung XP841 can be connected via PCI-Express in connection with UEFI and Windows 8.1. Full support for the P505 under Windows 7 is not yet available, so we can’t confirm if the same applies under this older OS.
Thanks to PCI-Express, the Samsung XP841 has a sequential read rate of over 1000MB/s (internal testing reached 1113MB/s!). The drive of course also makes an excellent OS drive, with 4K speeds equal to or in excess of the fastest 2.5” SSDs currently available.
Can you install a different CPU for me?
The XMG P505 utilises BGA processors from Intel. BGA means "Ball Grid Array" and represents a method in which the CPU is soldered with thousands of tiny solder balls directly on the motherboard. This differs from the previous LGA and PGA method, in which the interchangeable CPU fits into a socket on the mainboard.
The BGA method makes it possible to build very thin laptops because there is no physical socket between the mainboard and the processor. This also brings the added advantages of lower power consumption and more efficiency in terms of thermal design.
The BGA-mobile processors from Intel are marked with "HQ". The "MQ" processors which you may find optional in our other laptop models are not compatible with the XMG P505. For the foreseeable future, there will be two CPU options – the quad core i7-4710HQ and i7-4870HQ. Availability of the i7-4960HQ has yet to be confirmed.
UPDATE: The P505 and P705 are now shipping with the i7-4720HQ CPU as standard. The i7-4870HQ is not currently available due to issues with the CPU that are unrelated to XMG products or hardware.
Will the 17.3 XMG P705 also have a 4K panel QFHD option?
The XMG P705 will be available in November exclusively with full-HD. Unfortunately there are still no display manufacturers which offer a 4K QFHD panel in 17.3 ". This is partly because the total volume of 17.3" displays on the world market is very small. Though the demand for 17.3” gaming laptops is high in countries such as Germany, the demanding other areas such as the UK and North America is small.
Why do you offer a CPU with Intel Iris Pro 5200 when there is already a dedicated Nvidia card in the XMG P505?
In BGA-range ("HQ") Intel does not provide CPU's without Iris Pro beyond the i7-4710HQ - so if you want better CPU performance, the only options from Intel have inbuilt Iris Pro graphics.
But this does have advantages – for example QuickSync shows stronger performance in video encoding with simultaneous use of NVIDIA graphics and also pro-gamers who stream on Twich.tv see a performance advantage!
UPDATE: as noted above the Iris Pro CPU is currently not available.
Is the XMG P505 already compatible with the final / future version of Oculus Rift?
Yes, the XMG P505 is fully compatible Oculus Rift. This is made possible primarily the DisplayPort connectors, which allow an external resolution of 3840 * 2160 @ 60Hz. At lower resolutions, refresh rates even 60Hz are possible. The technical data of the final Oculus Rift is not yet published, but currently is not expected that the product will utilise a 4K panel.
We are often asked whether an additional latency is introduced into a system which utilises NVIDIA Optimus. To do this we can provide the following data:
- at a resolution of Full-HD, the latency caused by Optimus is only 0,7ms
- at a resolution of 4K, the Optimus system latency is only 3ms
The final release consumer version of Oculus Rift is expected to run at a resolution in excess of 1920x1080 but lower than 4K (3840x2160). As a result of this, the maximum 3ms delay in an Optimus system will not affect the operation of the Oculus hardware at all.
The keyboard layout on your product images seems to be strange.
The current product images of the XMG P505 were created from a pre-production model with a US International keyboard using German key characters. These images are in the process of being updated. The production models currently shipping to our customers have a normal UK English layout, including full height Return key.
When will Windows 7 drivers available?
The Windows 7 driver for the XMG P505 are still in development. We hope that we will be able to provide full support by December 2014, however this date has yet to be confirmed. We still recommend Windows 8.1 due to superior driver support for new hardware.
UPDATE: Windows 7 is now fully supported and drivers are available from the Support>Drivers & Downloads page as well as provided on disk or USB when you purchase Windows with your XMG or Schenker laptop.